David Eisenbud, of the University of California-Berkeley, will deliver the Howard Rowlee Lecture at 4:00pm on Friday, April 1, 2011, in 115 Avery Hall.

The lecture will be preceded by a reception in 348 Avery Hall from 3:15-3:50pm.

In addition to the Rowlee Lecture, there will be a KUMUNU conference on commutative algebra and related fields held April 2-3, 2011.

## Plato's Cave: Some things we know and some things we don't know about shadows on the wall

### Abstract

What can you tell about an object from its shadow? There are many versions of this question, important not only in geometry but in data analysis and elsewhere. I'll describe some of these, and then focus on classical geometric constructions having to do with curves and surfaces and things with more dimensions, and some of the mysteries about them that remain.### About the Speaker

David Eisenbud is one of the world's foremost commutative algebraists. He has made fundamental contributions to the fields of commutative algebra, algebraic geometry and computation. Notable recent research includes his joint work resulting in a proof of the Boij-Soderberg Conjecture. He has also written several widely used texts such as *The geometry of syzygies: A second course in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry and Commutative algebra with a view toward algebraic geometry* for which, in 2010, he received the American Mathematical Society's Steele Prize for Exposition.

David received his Ph.D. in 1970, from the University of Chicago, under the direction of Saunders Mac Lane and J.C. Robson. He has held positions at Brandeis University and Berkeley, in addition to being President of the American Mathematical Society and director of MSRI. He has also had at least 26 Ph.D. students who themselves have had at least 49 students of their own.

David's interests outside of mathematics include hiking, mountain biking, juggling (about which he has a joint paper in the American Mathematical Monthly) and, above all, music.

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